Thursday, January 7, 2010
BLM Revising Rules for Oil & Gas Leases on Public Lands
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced yesterday (here) that the Department of the Interior would propose stricter requirements on oil and gas leasing on public lands to ensure greater public input and enhanced environmental protection. A "fact sheet" on the proposal is here. The proposal, which would overturn what Salazar derisively refers to as the Bush Administration's "anywhere, anyhow" approach to oil and gas drilling, is based on a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) review of 77 oil and gas leases from a 2008 Bush Administration lease sale. Here is a side-by-side analysis of the current policy as compared with the new Obama Administration proposal, which conservative critics are already blasting as a "bureaucratic command-and-control" measure that will harm the economy and employment (see here).